Who’s That Kid? It’s Ashley Blasi, FCRH ’22!

Albuquerque+native+Ashely+Blasi%2C+FCHR+%E2%80%9922%2C+worked+as+a+nurse+during+the+COVID-19+pandemic.+%28courtesy+of+Ashely+Blasi%29

Albuquerque native Ashely Blasi, FCHR ’22, worked as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic. (courtesy of Ashely Blasi)

Rachel Gow, Editor-in-Chief

Albuquerque native Ashley Blasi, FCHR ’22, worked as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Albuquerque native Ashley Blasi, FCRH ’22, the pandemic brought the expected and universal sadness of a missed semester. Yet despite this grief, she got up each day, put on a surgical mask — sometimes the same one for seven days in a row — and went to work as a nurse. 

“It was just hard,” Blasi said of last March and April. 

The nursing home in New Mexico where she worked was understaffed and she was left to pick up extra shifts to compensate. Blasi was also living at home with her parents at the time, who were at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. 

“There were so many unknowns and not enough PPE but also not much of a choice,” she said.  

Working as a nurse also added to Blasi’s frustrations at others, especially college students, not following CDC guidelines. This was exacerbated by the many sacrifices Blasi made to continue working, including moving out of her family home on short notice. 

“I was putting myself and my family at risk to help people and it was hard to see my peers going to parties or bars and operating as if nothing was happening,” she said. 

However, in the face of these tribulations, Blasi managed to find some silver linings.

“Working as a nurse, especially during COVID, I saw death and debilitating illness which is something many people our age haven’t,” she said. “It’s made me so much more compassionate and given me a fuller sense of reality.” 

Blasi completed her degree to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) while still in high school, attending a nursing program from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. each day before going to take her regular classes. She also found time to run cross country and compete as a cheerleader and graduated as valedictorian of her nursing school. 

Blasi credits this busy high school schedule in informing her current work ethic. 

“It was definitely a really unique experience,” Blasi said. “But I liked the idea of getting up each day and working towards a tangible goal, which is an ideal I’ve tried to maintain in my life.” 

This drive has served Blasi exceptionally well in college where her schedule is arguably more jam-packed. She is a double major in both Biology and Latin American studies, a research intern with NYC Health and Hospitals and an educator for Peer Health Exchange, all while continuing to work as a nurse on school breaks. 

With so much experience, Blasi is certain she wants to pursue a career in the medical field, however, she has yet to pinpoint exactly what she wants to do post-college. While Blasi initially thought she wanted to get her MD, her experience with doctors has not always been pleasant. 

“I don’t know if I want to be a doctor or a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner yet,” Blasi said. “I’ve had some bad experiences with doctors where their treatment of nurses just lacks respect and compassion but whatever job I choose hopefully I can be the exception to that.” 

Her affinity for the Spanish language also plays a part in her plans. 

“I’ve definitely considered working abroad with doctors or nurses beyond borders as well.” 

Wherever life takes her it is clear Blasi will excel.